The government should carry out relief work more actively, and more non-governmental forces are needed for the country's aid programmes, says an article in Beijing News. An excerpt follows:
To extend much-needed care and warmth to as many beggars and vagrants as possible in the bitter winter, the Beijing municipal civil affairs authorities recently called on urban residents to help send the homeless they meet to the city's relief centres to receive material assistance.
Also, those who refuse to go to the relief centres to receive help can be given rations. Disabled beggars are to be conveyed to the centres by related departments.
Compared to the city's relief and assistance measures of the past, the new ones undoubtedly signal progress.
In the past, assistance and relief were mainly extended to those who volunteered to come to ask for help. Thus, the new relief approach fully demonstrates the humane nature of the city's civil affairs department.
Given that most beggars and vagrants roaming in cities are from rural areas, they have very limited access to relief information.
Waiting for them to come to ask for help in a passive manner is in essence equivalent to keeping someone in need outside one's door.
Relief workers should also respect the wishes of those they help, and the forced relief model should be avoided.
On the other hand, in addition to public administrative resources, non-government and voluntary bodies are badly needed for the social relief cause.